training schedule update – and new running shorts!

Today is the last day of the second week of training for me and my son. Only two more weeks until the race! This morning we ran at a park in town that if you go around it twice, you’ve basically completed a 5K. We did the same thing last weekend – I figure it helps him get a feel for what that distance is since our training schedule so far has not hit that mark in distance. The schedule for today was to walk 5 minutes, (run 8 minutes, walk 1 minute)x3, walk 4 minutes. This was the first day he had to run longer than 5 minutes at a time and he had to do it 3 times. We’re slow runners so we weren’t done with the second lap when we finished the third set so after we recovered a bit, we did another set. In other words, he just ran for a total of 32 minutes and survived. ๐Ÿ™‚

As for my own training schedule with my husband, we’re now running 13 minutes at a time with 1 minute breaks in between. Except because he doesn’t have to run the training schedule with my son on Sundays like I do, these last two weeks he has ran most of the 5K distance all at once while my son and I do our own thing. But my husband is in way better shape than me so I’m not worried about the fact that he can run longer than I can. I’m actually quite proud of him for running as much as he does considering when I told him a year or so ago that I wanted to start running he looked at me like I was crazy and said he wouldn’t run with me – he’d walk or ride a bike with me, but not run. Ha. See what a year or two will do? Now he’s just as hooked as I am.

In clothing-related news, I won/received a $100 Amazon gift card a couple of weeks ago and I used it to do some online shopping for things I cannot find in my size here in town: ย really great sports bras and running shorts. This week was the first time running with my new purchases and I am in IN LOVE with my new shorts. Until now, I just ran in cut-off sweat pants or basketball shorts. I have been to many stores in town to buy real running shorts – you know, the kind that are not 15,000 inches long and full of fabric that make running basically suck – but no store here carries them in my size unless I buy men’s running shorts and those have way too much waist. So until now, I’ve just dealt with it. The last two runs were super fantastic. What a difference. I now want to buy 3 more pairs so I can have enough to not have to do laundry 500 times a week. They just became my new wish list items. Seriously cannot believe the difference. I highly recommend to others to take the time to find them online if you can’t buy them locally – it’s worth it. Truly.

Onto my day of working and packing – need to get ready to leave town tomorrow for a work thing that lasts all week. Thankfully where I am going has trails to run and a fitness center. My plan is to hit them hard and come back right on track – I’m gone for 5 days and I can’t afford to fall behind. But I have faith in myself on this one. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

New Shoes!! And Pain.

First, last Thursday was my birthday. I seem to now be 35. How did that happen? But the cool thing is that a couple of bffs got me gift cards and cash and I was able to go to our local running store (Manhattan Running Company – it rocks, btw) and buy new shoes. I’m so happy. My old shoes are years old and pretty much done. So I spent my birthday evening at the store running around in different shoes until I found my new pair. They are Newtons and they’re pretty boss. They have this weird extra thing in them that kind of work as a lever and help me run better.

As I mentioned earlier, I was in Nebraska this past weekend and was unsure of how I was going to run 8 miles. My mom and I drove out to the country – but even going out 4 miles and then returning seemed too creepy. I think I’ve seen the Children of the Corn movie too many times. And yes, as my stepdad pointed out to me, I know there’s no corn right now. But still. Too alone and too creepy. So I went for the run to the park and then run the walking trail there a bunch of times and then run back to my mom’s house option. The trail is some messed up distance like 1 and 1/8 mile so figuring out how many times to run it, with the run to it and back was interesting. When I got back to my mom’s street, I was at a weird 8.5 miles so I figured “what the hell” and ran around the neighborhood until I hit 9 miles. Seemed easier to figure out my pace that way. My sportsband thing needs to be recalibrated because it is off about .09 every mile so it makes math interesting. Overall, I’m pleased with my pace considering I’ve never ran 9 miles before. And because of the pain. Oh, the pain.

I have this weird pain in my upper right thigh that I cannot explain nor figure out what damn muscle it is. Dave thought is was the pelvic muscle and for awhile I thought it was the top of IT band but it seems more horizontal than that. I need to figure out what it is though because it’s so sore. By the time I walked into my mom’s house I was limping so horribly that I think she was a bit concerned. And my knees were very weak – walking up down the stairs at her house was not fun. After showering I sat in a chair with ice on my knees and this electrode thing (yes, I just linked to Wikipedia) that my mom owns on that right leg muscle for about a half hour. And then it was like magic – my leg didn’t hurt again for hours. I think I would like to have one of those things in my life for sure.

Today is a general soreness day and I still can’t get out of a chair/sitting position without my knees giving out a little. Awesome. But, I feel fantastic besides. My husband on the other hand is a different story. When I got back from Nebraska, I came home to a very sick David and he is home from work today, which he never does. So I know he’s pretty bad. I may have to go home later and work from home so I can help take care of him. He’s kind of a hot mess. But in order to do that, I need to get cracking on my day – of course no one is here yet because I get to work too damn early but by 7a I’m sure I will start to see some colleagues coming in the hallway. And my desk is a disaster. Wow. That’s all I have to say about that. Wow.

Another Week of Learning and Adjusting

Two weeks from today I will be running in a 10K. Weird, right?

This past week has been interesting as far as training goes. Tuesday and Wednesday morning runs were good – both a little over 3 miles. And it’s crazy warm here for March so there wasn’t a jacket involved, which was nice, but I sure didn’t expect how hot I would be and how quickly I would get hot. I wear a bandana tied around my head when I run because I have some crazy ass hair that is just too much deal with when running – but that bandana really felt weird after awhile because my head was darn hot. Seriously – it was like my head was an oven. Luckily for me, my mom rocks and she bought/sent me a Buff that I had on a wish list and it arrived today! Oh, you don’t know what a Buff is? It’s awesome – here’s a video that shows all the different things it can do.

Friday morning’s run both sucked and scared me. I only did a mile because my kneecap kept slipping. I don’t know how else to explain that – but that’s what it felt like. With every stride, it moved from left to right and felt messed up. I didn’t have excruciating pain – but I knew with my past knee problems that I better stop and get it checked out. It’s similar to my knee pain last year, but this time I can stop it and support it better before it gets all jacked up and turns into patella femoral again. I need to baby it more on non-run days. And, when running…hello, knee brace.

The thing about a knee brace or sleeve or whatever they’re called is that they’re either “one size fits all” or only go up to large. And as I may have mentioned before, I’m neither just a large or a one size fits all. I think between Dave and I, we own 15 different knee things, none of which I can wear because my thigh is too damn big. But, we set out again to search for one that maybe, just maybe, would work. After a lot of silliness at the store that involved both he and I trying on different styles and jogging around in circles in the store, we found a winner.

This morning then was a run with the darn thing on my knee. I don’t love it – it feels a little too bulky for me – but I’ll get used to it. If wearing the darn thing means I can continue running, then so be it. I’ll be happy though when my legs are smaller and I can just do the thinner sleeves.

Oh, and this morning? I finally figured out that I cannot just roll out of bed and go run. I need to warmup more than what I’m doing. That first mile is such a killer and awkward and weird but once I get going, I’m good. We did just over 5 miles today which is awesome. I am going to need to make sure I get completely warmed up for that 10K so I can do the 6 miles in good form and not waste time hobbling the first mile.

This evening I spent time showing off my new leg muscles to Dave. Yes, we’re dorks, what can I say? But I do have some cool leg muscles. ๐Ÿ™‚

This coming week the run days are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday (shorter 3-4 miles) and the long run on Saturday (doing 5 miles again). This weekend is a laid-back weekend – I’m making sure to rest after running this morning and will do the same tomorrow. Dave and I are probably going to have breakfast tomorrow as our celebration. That would be our celebration of our 1 year anniversary which is technically the 19th (Monday) but it’s also kinda this weekend so we’re celebrating now. No gifts – all of our money goes toward our trip in April, what we’re calling our honeymoon since we didn’t go on one last year – just a meal together and getting up and running before work on Monday. Very romantic. LOL

On a clothes-related note, this week I learned the joy of not wearing cotton when running. Wow, I cannot believe the difference it makes!! I never want to go back to cotton t-shirts or shorts again. Though I need a shirt or two – the only two dri-wick shirts we have is one of Dave’s that’s too big for me and caused ouch chafing on my arms and another that is too small and it’s tight and uncomfortable. So I’m hoping at some point to save my money for a shirt that fits. But honestly, I’d rather wear the two that don’t fit than a cotton shirt – especially in this heat!

13 miles this week. 5 miles today. I’m starting to wonder who this person is – can it really be me? I’m feeling pretty awesome though – gotta be honest. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gizmos

I love gizmos; it’s true.

In the past I have mentioned that I have a Nike Sports Band that magically talks to a sensor on my shoelaces and gives me information about my running pace, distance, time, and calories burned. And I love it – but I love it so much that I get too attached to it. The first thing I do when I get home from a run is plug it into my computer to upload my workout to the online profile that tracks all cool things. Notice that I didn’t say stretch or shower first – really, I go directly to the computer. I don’t have a computer at home anymore (it died) so if I don’t take work home with me, I don’t have a computer. Last night I worked until 7p at work so I decided to not bring any computer work home with me (I did read a book connected to work though *sigh*). That may seem like not a big deal but when I got back from my run this morning, I HAD NO COMPUTER TO PLUG MY GIZMO INTO!!! Total freakout.

That’s when I knew I needed help…like, go into gizmo rehab or something. Geesh.

Fortunately, I can upload my workouts later – it saves them all until I upload them.

Or, I need to buy a computer for at home. Yep, that’s the obvious answer – no gizmo rehab that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Doing the Distance

As planned, we went out to the park this morning to run. The park we went to today is very scary in the dark so we slept in and went during daylight. As we pulled in, we realized it was super soccer Sunday and there were like 500 people there. As I may have mentioned before, I have issues running in the daylight anyway because I’m fat and think I look stupid. And now there was an additional gajillion people there. Oh well.

Our plan was to do two laps, about 3.2 miles, to start practicing the 5K distance. Next week we’ll add the extra 1/4 mile or so in to equal out the distance. We obviously weren’t going to run it – there would be lots of walking in it, but we wanted to see how long it took just to finish the distance so we’d have an idea of how far we are from being able to actually enter a race (and not be laughed at for taking too long!).

First thing I noticed was how different it is to run in the daylight as opposed to in the dark when I normally run at 5a. The sun it seems is quite hot and shiny. And bright. And did I mention hot? I’m definitely going to have to do this more often to get used to it! We ran and walked off and on and for the most part, it went well. When we were done, I was so tired but pleased. I was worried that it took us like an hour and half to do it, but when I checked my sports watch thing (that tracks my pace, time, calories, etc.) it only took us 46 minutes! I know, for most people that’s a long time, but I don’t care – it was awesome for us. We averaged 14-minute miles. So our goal for next Sunday (because now we’ll start doing this more often) is to do it under 46 minutes, eventually working toward 40 and then 30 minutes.

My stupid iPod shuffle is being dumb. I added some new playlists this morning (awesome stuff from podrunner.com) but the shuffle refused to play them. It’s such a fickle thing. I need to mess with it today and figure out what’s going on there. Oh, and it was cool to run on dirt instead of the sidewalk around City Park. In fact, now my shoes are dirty! They looked pretty clean up until now because I only had been running on sidewalks or streets but now they look serious:

Here’s to a great start to the week!

Learning to Run

So.

I am learning to run again. Awesome. I feel like I just went back two months in training. Sigh. But, it’s good – here’s why:

Yesterday was my appointment with a physical therapist. She was first of all, awesome. One of the first things I told her was that I was willing to do whatever it takes to rehab my knees – except stop running of course. I pretty much told her that if her answer was going to be “stop running” that I was heading out the door. But it never came to that. She understood my desire (I suspect she is or has been a runner in the past). And then she not only worked with me for an hour talking about how to fix my knees, she also talked to me about form and stride and hips and quads and foot mobility, etc.

Turns out I have excellent foot mobility and strong feet. I’ve learned that this fact is a good thing. What I also learned is that part of my knee pain is due to my stride. When I walk, and also run, my stride is short. Now, this is fine if I was say, 5’4″ but I’m not. I’m 6’0″ – even. And most of that is leg. So the fact that I run without stretching out my leg entirely is not doing my knees any favors. It’s funny to me because I walk the same way – I’ve even been told that I’m a lollygaggler when I walk. I just don’t use my legs to their full potential and my hip flexor is not stretched because of that nor is it being used to its full capability.

I remember one day when my family and I were traveling somewhere and we stopped at a rest area to picnic lunch. My stepbrothers and I were messing around and chasing each other and running (we’d been in the car for awhile). I couldn’t catch either of them and I remember my mom and stepdad telling me that if I would actually use my legs, I would be so fast. Weird how your past jumps into your mind.

So anyway, back to learning how to run. I spent the day yesterday trying to walk correctly. This is hard. LOL. While I’ve been resting my knees the last week and not running, I’ve been reading. A lot. Research is my middle name and I wanted to look into something that a friend’s husband had told me about barefoot running. I thought he was nuts – as in, yes, I can see how barefoot running would be great for an experience runner like he is, but not for a baby runner like me. Turns out, I’m wrong. What I’ve learned is that a lot of runner’s injuries are caused by wearing these super-duper industrial cushioned running shoes – that in all actuality, our bodies are meant to run and we are built to handle it barefoot (see where the fact that I have strong and mobile feet come in?). So I read some journal articles and studies and then while reading Born to Run, I caught that there are university track teams that train barefoot so they’ll have less injuries. Hmm…

I figure what the heck, I’m already learning how to run all over again, why not try this out? My feet are too sensitive now to go out and do it barefoot now, so I went to the local running store to purchase a pair of five-finger shoes. I needed new running shoes anyway and had a little saved up to do so (which is weird – I’m usually not much of a saver, guess I really want to do well at this running thing). However after trying on multiple pairs, I learned that my big toe (does that have a technical name I wonder?) is a little large (ugh) and I decided to hold off and reward myself with a pair of these shoes in the spring. I have no idea why I think my toe will be smaller then but stranger things have happened.

But I didn’t want to purchase the springy cushioned running shoes. Fortunately, there are light-weight shoes that more neutral – as in, the closest I could get to barefoot shoes. I went with the Saucony Kinvara – and they are so ugly. LOL. They are orange. Like, orange-orange. But it’s not about beauty here, just running. And they wiped out my shoe-savings I had. But they’ll last me a long time so I’ll be okay and now can go back to saving up to pay bills down again (like my mom, who is reading this right now cussing at me because I owe her money and I just bought running shoes…sorry mom, check’s in the mail).

Seriously, this is the longest blog post I’ve ever written I think. Anyway, I went out this morning and ran – or rather, tried out my new running. And, let me tell you, when you use your legs and stretch out your stride, you go so much faster. I did a 12-minute mile, with walking breaks in there because I was so winded. I know for other people that’s not very fast, but for me, that’s good. I need to learn to slow my pace and still use my full leg length. But I felt the heartrate up today. It was awesome.

And then just because I wanted to feel it, I sprinted the last block. And that was awesome – that feeling is why I run. Like I’m one with it and just move. I love, love, love this. Even though I didn’t run far because of my knees, I was loving it. So now my new focus is learning to run again. Sweet.

Exhausted

I think my body may be telling me something this morning. I think this because this morning it gave up on me.

On Sunday morning, I ran two miles while out of town around a park in my mom’s town. It was so windy that I lost time my 2nd mile because my pace had slowed so much against the wind. But I finished and it was awesome. Though – don’t buy iPod arm bands from Wal-Mart because the velcro on the strap will rub your skin raw to the point you want to cry. Just a little advice there for you.

But today. Today, I suck. I’m exhausted. Exhausted to the point that I can barely move and/or think. Running this morning was a joke. I could hardly pick up my legs and only went less than a mile before giving up. And then I went home and zoned out into a pile of nothingness.

Okay, okay, that’s a bit dramatic. But I’m concerned about the exhaustion.

Any thoughts?